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For example if in answer to the question, "what time does the shop close?" a tourist information officer might say, "I'll check on that for you."

Why wouldn't they say, "I'll check that for you."?

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I think officer would answer: "please, one moment; I check quickly" –  user19148 Jul 3 '12 at 8:14
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@Carlo_R. That's not what a native speaker would say. To sound more authentic one could say "One moment, please. I'll quickly check[[ on that] for you]." –  Matt Эллен Jul 3 '12 at 9:19
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@Matt - the officer might not be a native speaker :-) –  user16269 Jul 3 '12 at 9:38
    
Thank you @MattЭллен. –  user19148 Jul 3 '12 at 10:44
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4 Answers 4

Check means to examine (something) in order to determine its accuracy, quality, or condition. Check on is a phrasal verb that means verify, ascertain, or monitor the state or condition of.

It's a subtle difference between the two, and, in the example you gave, I think either could be applied.

If you asked me which one was more correct, I think I'd vote for check, rather than check on, but that was only after consulting a dictionary. Most tourist officers aren't that careful with their words before checking up on the hours of a village shop.

Oh, check up on means investigate in order to establish the truth about or accuracy of, which is, I suppose, another way of saying (nearly) the same thing.

Ref: these definitions were taken from NOAD

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Check on is used to refer to verifying the legitimacy or the condition of someone or something, according to Free Dictionary.

I reckon, check is better suited in your example.

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I think both are okay. For example if I worked at a hospital, I would use check on.

The doctor is going to check on his patient in 10 minutes. Meaning to monitor his state or condition

And if I were going through a security check, I would say:

They checked all my luggages. Meaning to check or examine

But in your case, both could work unless you got very picky.

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In Brit Eng, we would say check up on smbdy/smth) when talking about a state or process.

A bare check is reserved for facts and events. Hold on, I must check if I have turned off the gas.

Check on or check up on is better for processes and states, or for a more intensive search for information. My aunt is ill, I'll go and check (up) on her later. Or I want to phone the office to check (up) on how that difficult job is going.

I am not sure that the instant quote is a good example - a bare check is enough for me as the fact is easily ascertainable.

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